After a year of few public updates, city officials and developers announced the status of the $395 million Coliseum downtown development project Thursday afternoon.
At the press conference, Mayor Toni Harp said the New Haven-based architecture firm Newman Architects will spearhead designs for the Coliseum development project, located at the intersection of Orange and George streets, two blocks south of the New Haven Green. Canada-based developer LiveWorkLearnPlay will begin the first phase of construction next summer, during which time it will build around 400 mixed-income residential units, tens of thousands of square feet of retail space and a hotel complex. The Coliseum development will also bring 1,700 new jobs to the Elm City, according to Ted DeSantos, the senior vice president of Fuss & O’Neill, a consulting firm aiding the city. LiveWorkLearnPlay co-managing partner Max Reim said the company will try to source the majority of these jobs from New Haven residents.
“We’re going to be nepotistic and hire as local as possible,” Reim said.
After the eventual culmination of all four construction phases, the Coliseum will house 1,000 apartment units. Developers will set aside 50 to 70 spaces for businesses, 20 to 30 of which will be earmarked for new small businesses. The Coliseum will also include office buildings and a four-and-a-half star hotel, said Matthew Nemerson SOM ’81, the city’s economic development administrator. Construction on the hotel will likely begin in spring 2018, he added.
The Coliseum parking lot, where the new developments will be built, has been divided into four quadrants. LiveWorkLearnPlay will build on the northwest quadrant during the first phase, Nemerson said. Each additional phase will develop another quadrant of the current parking lot. Nemerson added that one quadrant will house high-rise apartments and another office buildings.
The Coliseum development compliments City Hall’s three-part Downtown Crossing Plan, which aims to facilitate transportation and increase commerce between downtown New Haven and the city’s outskirts. Phase two of the plan is underway and looks to streamline transportation at the crossing of Orange Street and Route 34, which is adjacent to the Coliseum, among other projects. Gov. Dannel Malloy has contributed $21.5 million from the state and the city of New Haven has contributed $12 million to fund the second phase, Nemerson said.
Nemerson added that the city’s Downtown Crossing Plan also helped attract Alexion Pharmaceuticals back to the city. Alexion, which left New Haven in 2000, will be located at 100 College St., just a few blocks from the crossing of Orange Street and Route 34.
The Coliseum development has not been without its obstacles over the last year, DeSantos said. Connecticut electricity company United Illuminating Company ran electricity lines across the parking lot, which later needed to be relocated for the Coliseum construction, he said.
Newman Architects has also designed Swing Space and Arnold Hall on Elm Street.